First Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2020

First Reading Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Gospel Mark 12:33-37

Artwork by Edrian M.P. | Class of 2023

Advent has a common theme about being alert. What does this mean?

It means that as followers of Jesus Christ, we are most concerned about loving God and loving people. We are invited to ask the Holy Spirit to help us not to lose our first love (cf. Revelations 2:4). The Holy Spirit is our interior teacher and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us in our struggle to be good witnesses to Christ.

Advent is a time for us to bring our broken relationships to the Lord and ask for His guidance in experiencing life in abundance. God is for us. Isn’t it a sad reality that so many people think God is indifferent to all of our struggles and suffering here on earth?

How much more could God do to prove His love for us than in sending His only-begotten Son to be our Lord and Savior? When we love people, we want to walk with them and share in their journey of life. This is exactly what Jesus does for us when we invite Him into our hearts. He accompanies us and helps us be responsible and accountable for our words and actions.

We are all sinners when we fail to love God and love people. This is a simple truth and we can see evidence of this every day. But hope is not lost. When we turn to Jesus and invite Him to open our hearts, we can be renewed in the gift of hope and find peace and joy in all the wonderful people and events God has provided for us. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Being alert is not some dreadful commandment to make our lives more difficult or miserable. It is the opportunity to allow the Lord to help us experience more gratitude and love. Advent is all about being renewed in the gift of hope.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

- Romans 5:5

I pray we will have a most beautiful and blessed Advent!

By Fr. Jim Northrop
Kennedy Catholic Chaplain